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Dothan native brings nightmares to life with theater company – Tuscaloosa News08.22.17

By Bill PerkinsDothan Eagle

DOTHAN Running off to the big city to chase a dream is an age-old story. Occasionally those dreams are unsettling, because storybook plots can have dark shadowy corners where frightening things take raspy breaths.

That’s where Brian Williams seeks the sort of jolt that has thrilled him since his childhood models of witches and vampires menaced him from atop his bedroom dresser after lights-out.

Williams, a Dothan native, will see his nightmares come to fruition in October, when his nascent theater company, Dark House Theater, opens its first season in New York City.

The venue for the inaugural Dark House Theater show could not be more appropriate. Amble along St. Marks Place in the East Village and you might not notice that you’re right in front of the twin five-story tenements at Nos. 98 and 96 that graphic designer Peter Corriston used on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s iconic 1975 release “Physical Graffiti.” But you won’t miss Big Steve’s World Famous Cappuccino and Tattoo “Manhattan’s Oldest” marked by its devil-red faade situated at No. 94. Just below street level is the entrance to UNDER St. Marks, a subterranean 45-seat cave beneath the bustle of the city an intimate setting for an evening of fright.

“I think horror works well if it’s in your face,” Williams said. “I hope we can always be in some tiny theater space where you can see every facial expression and drop of sweat. It makes it so much more intense.”

The season opens in October with “East in Red,” a contemporary take on a Jack the Ripper story written by playwright Ryan Sprague as a commission for another theater company. He began by moving the killings from Victorian London to New York City in the 1990s. “It was a fresh take on one of the biggest unsolved cases in history, and I absolutely loved the outcome,” Sprague said. “Since the first production of ‘East in Red,’ it has received several other readings and workshop productions. This production with Dark House Theater will be its first production by an independent theater company, and I couldn’t be more honored.”

Sprague heard about the inception of Dark House through friends who had worked with Williams on other projects. “I jumped on the opportunity to share this script with him. I can’t wait to see what he and Dark House Theater come up with to bring this script to bloody life!”

Working in a dark genre of theater genre isn’t simply happenstance; it’s a confluence of two of Williams’ longtime interests the first forged by trips to Dothan’s Village Theater with his cousin Clyde, who would take young Brian to see a Disney movie, the Pink Panther or the Apple Dumpling Gang.

“We’d be sitting there, eating popcorn, and suddenly a preview would come on for ‘Carrie,’ or ‘Food of the Gods’,” Williams said. “To a kid as young as I was, they were both terrifying.”

That led to a fascination with the Wicked Witch of the West and other scary fare. “I loved watching monster movies whenever we had a babysitter, and I found out about Dracula and Frankenstein and, after that, I think I was a vampire for Halloween every year,” Williams said.

As Williams’ interest grew, so did his creativity, leading to a succession of haunted houses created with his neighborhood buddies in the family’s garage on Stanford Road, complete with “severed heads” crafted from Styrofoam wig stands and old stage makeup contributed by his uncle, then-Dothan High School drama teacher Larry Williams.

But it wasn’t until he attended a production of “Dracula” that Williams was truly bitten, and perhaps that can be attributed in part to the actor in the lead role.

“When Wallace College did ‘Dracula’ at the Opera House with Mr. Bencze, my mom took me and a couple of neighborhood friends,” Williams recalled. “There were maybe three of us, getting scared to death watching that play. I’d never seen a scary play before, and I loved it.”

In his late 60s then, Mikls Bencze, who died in 1992, brought an international pedigree that made a turn as Dracula a natural progression. His timber-rattling bass helped make him an opera star in his native Hungary in the 1940s and ’50s before he and his wife emigrated to America when Soviet troops marched on Budapest to crush the Hungarian revolution. After continuing his career with performances at Carnegie Hall and other opera houses, Bencze turned to the academic world as artist in residence at Baylor and Ole Miss, eventually landing at Wallace College.

“We did ‘Dracula’ with Mr. Bencze two times,” recalled Terry Schembera, who taught theater and communications at Wallace College for 37 years. “The first time was in 1977 in the old gym at Wallace and the second time at the Opera House in 1981 or 1982. We thought he would be perfect for Dracula with his deep bass voice and, of course, his Hungarian accent.”

With his combed-back hair and widow’s peak, bushy eyebrows and elastic face, Bencze strongly favored another Hungarian, Bela Lugosi, who is known for his portrayal of Dracula on Broadway and in film. With a bit of makeup and stage lights, the opera star was transformed.

“Mr. Benzce was very frightening in his portrayal of Dracula,” Schembera said.

Williams was not the only young theater patron entranced by Bencze’s portrayal of the undead count.

“They had brought school children to see the play, and Mr. Bencze was so real in that part that children ran from him when they saw him out and about in Dothan,” recalled Janet Hinton, who taught art at Wallace College. “One unruly child ran screaming in the grocery store when Mr. B took out his bridge and scolded the child showing his remaining eye teeth.”

A fan of the stage since he saw “Hello Dolly” as a child, Brian’s theater career almost ended before it began. “A friend and I went to SEACT to audition for Of Mice and Men,” Williams recounted. “I was 15, I was loud and I spoke too fast, and everything was sort of sing-song. I’m sure I was slumping, my hair in my eyes, and never looked up once from the script.

“I didn’t get cast. I sucked, but at the time I thought I was awesome, so I spent a few days sulking in my room, listening to The Cure and being all humiliated,” he said.

A note from an assistant director on the show turned him around. “It said and I’ll probably never forget this – ‘Please understand that it wasn’t a lack of talent that prevented us from casting you, but the small number of available roles’.”

High school brought a different challenge: because Larry Williams was then the drama teacher at his school, Northview High School, Brian feared he might never get a chance to act. “He was my uncle and everyone knew it, so how would it look if I got a part?”

However, Larry did cast his nephew, and Brian eventually had a role in each production during his high school years. Brian studied theater at Wallace College under Schembera before moving on to Auburn, and then to graduate school at the University of Florida. He developed his own style of directing, and was soon teaching theater at Dothan High School. As peers, he and his Uncle Larry would critique each other’s shows. “We had a great time talking about theater.”

Then he had an opportunity to move to New York. “Some friends needed a roommate, and I just decided to go. I felt really sad about leaving my students at DHS behind, but I knew I would always regret not giving New York City a shot,” he said.

There were no footlights for a while. Williams set out to learn the city and pay the rent, working as a bartender, a waiter, and a manager of what, at the time, was “a very hot restaurant owned by the first winner of ‘Top Chef’.” For a decade, he has taught yoga, and has managed a couple of yoga studios.

And there was the occasional stint as a director, which led to a summer upstate in 2010, helping to shoehorn six shows into eight weeks for a theatre festival.

He and a lighting designer, Scot Gianelli, became friends, hanging out after rehearsals drinking beer and watching horror movies. “We’d talk about how fun it would be to start a little horror theater company,” Williams said.

After the summer season, it was back to the city, where Williams managed two restaurants.

Two years ago, he ran into his friend Scot from the summer theater festival, and they visited over a couple of beers. On a spur-of-the-moment, Williams blurted out a suggestion: “Let’s do what we talked about – let’s try to start a horror theater company.”

They raised some money not as much as they’d hoped for, but enough to put on a night of one-acts. “They had a campfire vibe to them, and Scot came up with this idea of lighting them from the ground with amber gels so they looked like you were around a campfire,” Williams said.

They staged the show in a townhouse yoga studio and set up a cocktail party space on the downstairs level with food and wine. The turnout surprised them.

“It was sold out,” he said. “Packed. We had to turn people away.”

This spring, they put together another night of “quirky, short, and scary theater.”

“It was after that night in March that I felt like I could make this company work,” Williams said. “We picked a season’s worth of plays, and we’re raising money for it now.”

And at least one specter has come back to haunt Brian Williams Dark House has just set its spring show, “The Transylvanian Clockworks,” Don Nigro’s adaptation of Dracula written about the time that Bencze’s Count sealed Williams’ professional fate. Bring your stakes and garlic braids.

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Black henna leaves 7-year-old with horrific burns – Khaleej Times08.21.17

Seven-year-old Madison Guliver’s holiday to Egypt ended up being a nightmare after her black henna tattoo gave her blisters.

While holidaying, she went ahead and applied the black henna design on her forearm at the hotel’s salon. Shortly after, she started complaining about her itchy forearm.

Within no time, the design erupted into a series of painful blisters. After she was rushed to the hospital, the blisters had to be cut off by medics at a specialist burns unit, according to a report in Metro. The incident has left her hand with permanent scarring.

The doctors initially gave her steroid cream but when blisters started to form on Madison’s fingers, she was finally referred to burns’ specialist.

Her father, Martin Gulliver said: “We started to panic. They had never seen it before, and each time we went in they were trying different things but it was getting worse and worse.”

The young girl now has to wear a pressure bandage for at least six months to minimise the scarring, the Metro report said.

Black henna tattoos can contain high levels of the toxic chemical paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause hypersensitivity reactions to some people. Caution is practiced in Dubai and the Municipality has warned salons from using black henna to avoid facing a Dh2,000 fine.

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Loss A Blemish On Chris Sale’s MVP Resume – Hartford Courant08.21.17

The tattoo sprawls across his upper back. Four large dripping capital letters spell out Chris Sale’s last name. He got it when he was a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast, and in retrospect, he has said he wouldn’t repeat his youthful indiscretion.

Yet as Sale towels off facing his locker, the thought strikes that one of these hot summer nights those dripping letters are going to run a little farther down his back and spell out something more. Something grand. Something like, “MVP.”

Sale has been that dominant in his first season with the Red Sox.

The slender lefthander has made that big a difference in the standings, an MVP difference. He has had that big of an impact in Boston, the kind of impact Pedro Martinez had in 1999.

But not on this Saturday night.

“There have been a lot of good pitchers who have come through here,” manager John Farrell said before Sale allowed two home runs in a 4-3 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park. “I wasn’t around with Pedro. But I’ve not seen a guy every fifth game, he walks out there you’re looking at double-digit strikeouts, deep in ballgames.

“I marvel at his ability to pitch over a range of velocity. There’s touch and feel from 89 to 92 mph yet the ability to reach back and get 97 in addition to a changeup that is a true weapon and a breaking ball he can vary the shape and speed to. It’s his combination of his finesse and power that is unique.”

Baseball seasons toss and turn in unexpected ways. With Boston’s 9-6 comeback victory Friday night, one that led manager Joe Girardi to announce ineffective Aroldis Chapman is out as his closer, Sale was set to deliver a knockout punch in the AL East.

He had the opportunity to put the Red Sox up six games in the division. With only 40 games remaining that would be a mountain for the Yankees to climb. Instead he allowed a three-run home run by Tyler Austin and the four extra-base hits he allowed tied a season high. Sale threw a season-high 117 pitches in allowing seven hits over seven innings.

He wasn’t horrible. He also wasn’t close to being AL MVP.

“I got bit by the home-run bug,” Sale said after allowing his first homer with multiple runners on base since last Oct. 2 and only the second time since 2015. “With men on base like that, I’ve got to be better.”

The other day, Pedro Martinez told reporters, “Chris Sale is suited to do anything, against anybody, in any era.”

The numbers backed Pedro’s claim. Sale entered the night leading the AL with 14 wins, a 2.51 ERA, 241 strikeouts, 1681/3 innings pitched and .191 opposing batting average, all the traditional stats. He also was first in strikeout to walk ratio; opponent on-base, plus slugging (OPS); walks plus hits per inning (WHIP), and various advanced metrics. He led Fangraphs’ wins above replacement (WAR) for all positions.

Dan Iassogna’s crew joined umpires across major league baseball Saturday wearing wristbands as a show of solidarity after the Tigers’ Ian Kinsler was not suspended for severely criticizing Angel Hernandez. Sale probably felt like joining Kinsler when he got squeezed by plate umpire Tripp Gibson more than once in the first inning. He needed 20 pitches to get out of a first inning where he didn’t allow a hit.

Austin had never faced Sale. Who knew he would turn into a nightmare? Didi Gregorius hooked a fastball into the right field seats for a ground rule double to lead off the second. Sale hit Todd Frazier in the shin painful with a slider. Sale then grooved a 95 mph, 1-1 fastball that Austin crushed over everything in left field.

In the fourth, Austin crushed another ball to deep center field, but Jackie Bradley Jr. bailed him out with a terrific leaping catch at the wall.

“It’s almost not even cool anymore,” Sale said. “Right when you see him make a great catch, he goes out and does it again. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s the best centerfielder in the game.”

In the fifth, Aaron Hicks drove a changeup off the left field wall for a double. In the sixth, Frazier lifted a slider to left for a home run.

“I thought he threw a pretty good 1-2 pitch to Frazier that he just got enough on it to get in the first row,” Farrell said.

“I’ve never seen a good pitch go over the fence,” Sale said.

Unlike David Price, who we may or not again this season because of recurring elbow problems, Sale seems to eat this Boston stuff up.

“We play at one of the coolest stadiums in all of sports,” Sale said on WEEI the other day. “It’s very rich in history. The players that have come through here, you’re talking about retired numbers and Hall of Famers. It’s all cool, but at the end of the day we have a realistic shot of going all the way. That’s what I signed up for. I can’t wait.”

His 1.18 career ERA entering the night was the lowest mark minimum 50 innings against the Yankees since it became an official stat in 1912 and the lowest by any active pitcher against any opponent. His 13.9 strikeouts per nine innings this season was the highest single-season against the Yankees since at least 1913.

“People in New York have never been really nice to me, but they hate me now,” Sale said on WEEI. “I don’t go to New York to make friends.”

In order to win an MVP award, a starting pitcher has to jump through many more hoops than an everyday position player. He should. He appears once every five games. Only 11 pitchers have won both the MVP and Cy Young in the same season.

“A lot of people say there’s no way a starting pitcher can be [MVP],” Farrell said last weekend at Yankee Stadium. “I’d refute that.”

Farrell went on to talk about Sale as being a difference maker in the standings. Jose Altuve, Mike Trout and perhaps Aaron Judge figure to be his biggest competition.

Sale reduced his velocity in 2016 with the White Sox and it resulted in markedly fewer strikeouts. He wanted to pitch more to contact to go deeper in games. His average fastball velocity is back up this season from 93 to 95.

“There wasn’t anything certainly we asked him to do,” Farrell said. “I do know this. The first pitch he threw in spring training was 97 mph. He has felt great physically.

“The only thing in spring training he talked about was wanting to use his changeup more than in the past. He has done that.”

And while the vast majority of strikeouts come on his fastball and slider, it is the increased use of that changeup that has made Sale even more devastating.

Clayton Kershaw (301 in 2015) is the only pitcher in the past 15 years to strike out more than 300 hitters in a season. After striking out nine Yankees, Sale is on pace to exceed that. His 12.83 strikeouts per nine innings is the third higher in major league history behind Randy Johnson 13.41 in 2001 and Pedro’s 13.2 in 1999.

His 0.88 WHIP sits behind only Pedro’s 0.74 in 2000 as the lowest single season AL mark since the DH was introduced in 1973.

He entered the night striking out 37 percent of the hitters he faced. Sale did strike out Judge on a 97 mph fastball in the fifth as Judge set the MLB single season record striking out in his 36th successive game. Yet in a game that might have buried the Yankees, a game where he faced the Yankees for the fourth time, Sale got outpitched by CC Sabathia.

“They made the better adjustments,” Sale said.

The result was a couple of new tattoos from Austin and Frazier.

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World Tattoo Events The Tattoo Conventions Calendar08.19.17

Welcome to the biggest international tattoo conventions, expo and festivals calendar online.Featuring 1000+ tattoo eventsfrom all over the world. You can now find all the best tattoo seminars as well.

The First Annual Winnipeg Tattoo Convention is happening this year on August 18, 19 & 20 at Exhibition Place at the Red River Exhibition Park. Brought to you by Kapala Tattoo and Good Guy Supply, this three-day event is bringing renowned tattoo artists from across the world to showcase their talent with live tattooing in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

TheUpstate New York Tattoo Conventionis a 3 day event full of tattooing, piercings, and mind blowing performances with a live DJ on site. There will be over 100 artists, human suspension, contests, tattoo removal and much more. Artists will be tattooing and piercing live on site for the public. Best family experience from face painting and to sideshows (glass walkers, fire eating, magician and contortion) and a variety of vendors.

It is our great pleasure to announce that an international tattoo convention TheDeauville Tattoo Festival will take place on August 19th and 20th, 2017.Were very happy to invite you to what will be a major tattoo event in France, in collaboration with Tap Aix Aitreme Tattoo Piercing (who brought you the Czanne Tattoo Ink) and the Deauville Ink tattoo parlour. More than 250 artists and exhibitors, concerts and animations in one of the most famous and legendary French cities.

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This Woman’s Holographic Skull Makeup Will Give You Beautiful Nightmares – POPSUGAR08.19.17

It’s the classic beauty junkie Halloween dilemma: do we choose bright, rainbow Halloween makeup or a superspooky zombie look? Luckily for us, Vanessa Davis, a Mexican-British face artist, has a solution: just do both!

Known as “The Skulltress,” Davis creates holographic skull makeup that’s something out of an undead Lisa Frank coloring book. Her looks have won her an audience of over 300,000 followers who tune in to her mosaic-esque looks that are both chic and creepy.

Davis told POPSUGAR that she is inspired by tattoo artists, color, and “the structure of human anatomy.” Indeed, her designs are just as realistic as some medical textbooks if medical textbooks were written in neon ink.

According to Davis, she was inspired to start skull makeup after discovering Face Lace, a London-based company that sells holographic face stickers (Lady Gaga, Pharrell Williams, and the late David Bowie have all been fans).

Read on for our favorite of Davis’s designs, including a fantastical interpretation of the terrifying Silence of the Lambs poster art.

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She’s had nightmares thinking Nazis were coming: Letters – Orlando Sentinel08.18.17

Mother said Nazis could still come for you

I grew up in Brooklyn in a nonreligious, ethnically Jewish home. When I read The Diary of Anne Frank, my mother talked about the Holocaust. She said to me, “Don’t ever forget they could still come for you.” I have never forgotten those words, but I truly believed she was overstating it. That could never happen in the United States.

I have had three sleepless or nightmare-filled nights since the Charlottesville riots. The video of people marching with Nazi flags and torches and shouting Nazi and racist slogans was horrifying and brought her words back to me.

To hear the president equating the people who protested racism and fascism with those marchers was shocking. Did he really think Americans should sit back and simply let them take over? Did we learn nothing from the sacrifices and pain of the past? To hear him being applauded by former Klan leader David Duke and others and not refuse to say he did not accept their support conflicts with American values.

The president has empowered, and continues to empower, the growth of hatred and violence, and yet his supporters make excuses for this rhetoric. As I sit here today, I am realizing that my mother’s words may very well come true.

Maggie O’Connell Orlando

Regarding the article UCF sorority holding rush events in suspended frats house in Wednesdays Sentinel: Gamma Phi Beta sorority made use of an available large space for a rush event. It was not making a political statement. It was not a party to, nor was it condoning, the behavior of one active and one alumni brother of Alpha Tau Omega, who are charged with sexual battery.

No other active members of the fraternity were involved. They are just as horrified by this as everyone else. Yet, the Sentinel implied that Gamma Phi Beta was insensitive and had deliberately selected Alpha Tau Omega, now apparently a rape house, for its event.

Alpha Tau Omegas troubles are not Gamma Phi Betas. According to the article, the University of Central Florida has not received any complaints about the matter. The Sentinel manufactured a problem and a story where none exists and in the process has damaged the name of an innocent sorority for simply renting a party space in a building for a few hours. Gamma Phi Beta is owed an apology.

Elisa Kvares Mount Dora

In the stale air that has lingered in the aftermath of the Charlottesville riot, we must light a beacon of hope. The Charlottesville disaster began over plans to remove a Confederate statue. If statues are symbolically strong enough to breed violence and dismay, then they can produce peace and hope.

In Orlando, let us fill the space at Lake Eola Park once occupied by Johnny Reb with the antithesis of the Confederacy and dismay.

Zora Neale Hurston, a successful black woman, writer, folklorist, anthropologist and central figure of the Harlem Renaissance, is the perfect candidate. She symbolizes what the Confederacy hoped to prevent. Based on merits alone with works such as “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” she is a Florida literary legend whom we should lionize.

So let us erect a monument to her symbolically atop the place “Johnny Reb” once occupied. As a community, let us rally around her as a symbol of what the city’s and country’s future should be.

Alex Gurtis Orlando

Its quite apparent that the effort to remove various statues has gained momentum based on the fact that some people find them offensive.

Although Im not engrossed with political correctness, Id like to throw my hat into the ring. Id like to have the U.S. Capitol removed due to the fact that many of us find our worthless Congress to be offensive.

Bruce McHenry Casselberry

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Tattoo nightmare | Etsy08.18.17

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Erasing the hate: Tattoo artist fixes past mistakes | The Eagle … – Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman08.18.17

A bad decision shouldnt haunt one for the rest of life.

That is the message Gabe Brause , an Anchorage tattoo artist, is spreading locally as he bring the Erase the Hate Facebook campaign from the East Coast to Alaska to help tattoo owners remove the ink they may now regret.

People deserve to leave the past in the past when they are ready to start a new chapter of their life, Brause said as he worked on alerting the letters PASS on Sydney Hinkleys calf a couple weeks ago. For Sydney, she is getting married and she should not have to deal with a mistake from her past on that special day.

Hinkley, age 26, smiled as she watched Brause meticulously create the outline of what would be an apple blossom on her leg where letters of hate and intolerance once dominated her skin.

At age 20, Hinkley was in a relationship with a Nazi sympathizer.

She regrets the relationship, she said.

One morning after having had too much to drink and most likely passing out, she woke up to find two letters on her leg: SS

Her former boyfriend had a tattoo gun and had put the marks on her leg while she slept.

I was horrified, she recalls. I freaked out.

But what could she do? The two letters were there. She was young and in love. She demanded the former boyfriend add the letters P and A so that her leg would have a more appropriate term on display.

Despite that addition, Hinkley was not comfortable wearing shorts or a skirt that fell above her knee.

She didnt want to explain the reason for the word, PASS appearing on her leg.

I was an idiot when I met him, she said. It was a brief relationship, but then I ended up with this nightmare on my leg.

The second part of being young and in love didnt last long.

She moved around Washington State until coming to Alaska to continue her career in the hospitality industry cooking at downtown Anchorage hotels.

She met the love of her life Andrew Leonard. The couple is getting married in October. Life was great; well, except for the tattoo on her leg.

Leonard is of Alaska Native descent. Hinkley said he did not criticize her past, but she remained embarrassed regarding the racism associated with the tattoo. She hopes the couple has children and she did not want to go to the Alaska Native Medical Center or to a PTA meeting with a racist mark on her leg.

Plus, she really, really wanted to wear a pretty dress with its hemline skimming her knees on her wedding day.

Thanks to Brause and her win of a random drawing for a tattoo cover-up sponsored by Brauses company, Stoned Monkey, Hinkleys leg-bearing wedding dreams are becoming reality. Her 1950s-style pin-up dress in cream with dark burgundy accents will flutter just above the colorful tattoo Brause created on her leg.

She laughed at how pale her legs are because they have not seen sunlight in more than a half decade. But as she sat in the tattoo chair at Black Flag Tattoo in downtown Anchorage, she talked about the pink and purple colors she selected from a photo of the Seattle skyline that would be the background of her tattoo once Brause finished it.

The cover-up tattoo he designed is extensive. It features apple blossoms to represent Hinkleys time in Wenatchee, Wash. the states apple orchard capital. To honor the evergreen trees of the Cascade Mountains, Brause included pinecones. The states variety of deciduous trees is represented by leaves. Green ferns are dotted around the tattoo.

Hinkleys favorite part of the design created by Brause is the presence of DB Cooper – one of the states infamous criminals making his jump from a Boeing 727 after having secured $200,000 in ransom money after hijacking a flight from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle. The design sports Cooper wearing a parachute as his legend indicates he had on when authorities believe he jumped from the same Boeing 727 somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada after instructing the planes pilot to set a course for Mexico City. A trial of money follows Cooper on Hinkleys tattoo just as authorities believe may have occurred when Hinkley jumped as various amounts of the bills federal authorities secured for the ransom have been found in the Columbia River Gorge.

I just love that story, HInkley said. It is a big part of Washington folk lore and I love how many potential different endings it could have.

A bit similar to the lives we as humans lead, Brause mused as he smeared away excess ink from the lines he made on Hinkleys leg.

As a tattoo artist, he enjoys the challenge of doing cover-up work.

It is one thing to create something new on your own, but to go back over someone elses work to correct and make something better from it takes skill, he said. But as an artist, there is nothing more gratifying than to create something beautiful that can take away the stigma attached to a really horrible tattoo. People ought to be able to move past their past and become something different.

Editors Note: Amy Armstrong is a co-owner of Alaska Family Fun magazine.

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Erasing the hate: Tattoo artist fixes past mistakes | The Eagle … – Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

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Stoned Monkey Erases the Hate – Anchorage Press08.17.17

A bad decision shouldnt haunt someone for the rest of their life.

That is the message Gabe Brause, an Anchorage tattoo artist, is spreading locally as he brings the Erase the Hate Facebook campaign from the East Coast to Alaska in an effort to help tattoo owners alter the ink they may now regret.

People deserve to leave the past in the past when they are ready to start a new chapter of their life, Brause said as he worked on transforming the letters PASS on Sydney Hinkleys calf a couple weeks ago. For Sydney, she is getting married and she should not have to deal with a mistake from her past on that special day.

Hinkley, age 26, smiled as she watched Brause meticulously create the outline of what would be an apple blossom on her leg where letters of hate and intolerance once dominated her skin.

At age 20, Hinkley was in a relationship with a Nazi sympathizer.

She regrets the relationship, she said.

One morning after having had too much to drink and most likely passing out, she woke up to find two letters on her leg: SS

Her former boyfriend had a tattoo gun and had put the marks on her leg while she slept.

I was horrified, she recalls. I freaked out.

But what could she do? The two letters were there. She was young and in love. She demanded the former boyfriend add the letters P and A so that her leg would have a more appropriate term on display.

Despite that addition, Hinkley was not comfortable wearing shorts or a skirt that fell above her knee.

She didnt want to explain the reason for the word, PASS appearing on her leg.

I was an idiot when I met him, she said. It was a brief relationship, but then I ended up with this nightmare on my leg.

The second part of being young and in love didnt last long.

She moved around Washington State until coming to Alaska to continue her career in the hospitality industry cooking at downtown Anchorage hotels.

She met the love of her life Andrew Leonard. The couple is getting married in October. Life was great; well, except for the tattoo on her leg.

Leonard is of Alaska Native descent. Hinkley said he did not criticize her past, but she remained embarrassed regarding the racism associated with the tattoo. She hopes the couple has children and she did not want to go to the Alaska Native Medical Center or to a PTA meeting with a racist mark on her leg.

Plus, she really, really wanted to wear a pretty dress with its hemline skimming her knees on her wedding day.

Thanks to Brause and a random drawing for a tattoo cover-up sponsored by Brauses company, Stoned Monkey, Hinkleys leg-bearing wedding dreams are becoming reality. Her 1950s-style pin-up dress in cream with dark burgundy accents will flutter just above the colorful tattoo Brause created on her leg.

She laughed at how pale her legs are because they have not seen sunlight in more than a half decade. But as she sat in the tattoo chair at Black Flag Tattoo in downtown Anchorage, she talked about the pink and purple colors she selected from a photo of the Seattle skyline that would be the background of her tattoo once Brause finished it.

The cover-up tattoo he designed is extensive. It features apple blossoms to represent Hinkleys time in Wenatchee, Wash. the states apple orchard capital. To honor the evergreen trees of the Cascade Mountains, Brause included pinecones. The states variety of deciduous trees is represented by leaves. Green ferns are dotted around the tattoo.

Hinkleys favorite part of the design created by Brause is the presence of DB Cooper — one of the states infamous criminals making his jump from a Boeing 727 after having secured $200,000 in ransom money after hijacking a flight from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle. The design sports Cooper wearing a parachute as his legend indicates. Authorities believe he jumped from the Boeing 727 somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada after instructing the planes pilot to set a course for Mexico City. A trail of money follows Cooper on Hinkleys tattoo just as authorities believe may have occurred when Hinkley jumped. Various amounts of the bills federal authorities secured for the ransom have been found in the Columbia River Gorge.

I just love that story, HInkley said. It is a big part of Washington folklore and I love how many potential different endings it could have.

A bit similar to the lives we as humans lead, Brause mused as he smeared away excess ink from the lines he made on Hinkleys leg.

As a tattoo artist, he enjoys the challenge of doing cover-up work.

It is one thing to create something new on your own, but to go back over someone elses work to correct and make something better from it takes skill, he said. But as an artist, there is nothing more gratifying than to create something beautiful that can take away the stigma attached to a really horrible tattoo. People ought to be able to move past their past and become something different.

Editors Note: Amy Armstrong is a co-owner of http://www.alaskafamilyfun.com.

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Stoned Monkey Erases the Hate – Anchorage Press

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Woman jailed for murdering love rival and assuming victim’s identity in four year stalking campaign – NEWS.com.au08.16.17

Shanna Golyar jailed for murdering love rival Cari Farver and assuming victims identity in four year stalking campaign. Courtesy: Fox News

Mother-of-one Cari Farver, 37, was murdered by love rival Shanna Golyar two weeks after she started dating a man Golyar was in love with.

TWO weeks after David Kroupa started seeing Cari Farver, his life took a strange and disturbing turn.

The attractive, 37-year-old brunette was one of several women Mr Kroupa was casually dating at the time who hadnt seemed fussed about the no-strings arrangement.

Or so he thought.

Tens of thousands of terrifying emails, text messages and phone calls seemingly from Ms Farver began days after Mr Kroupa saw her for the last time in 2012.

In less than a fortnight, she had apparently developed a dangerous obsession, inundating Mr Kroupa with threats that also targeted his friends, work colleagues and other women he was dating, one of whom was Shanna Golyar.

For the next four years Mr Kroupa found himself at the centre of a relentless stalking campaign. But the perpetrator wasnt Ms Farver at all. It was the woman who had stuck with him throughout the nightmare, who had refused to be intimidated by the daily, hourly (and sometimes minute-by-minute) campaign of terror Golyar.

On Tuesday, a court in Omaha, Nebraska sentenced Golyar, 41, to life imprisonment for the murder of Ms Farver, whose body has never been found.

The court heard Golyar ambushed and killed the mother-of-one on November 13, 2012 after she spent the evening with Mr Kroupa at his home. She then assumed her victims identity, taking over her social media and email accounts to make it look like she was still alive but didnt want to be found.

Ms Farvers family and young son were left devastated and confused after a status update on her Facebook page explained that she had decided to leave them indefinitely to sort things out.

In fact, it had been penned by Golyar. In a particularly cruel move, Golyar embellished her story with an unnecessary detail, claiming Ms Farvers own son, who was a toddler at the time, had refused his mothers offer to take him with her.

The body of Cari Farver, pictured with her father, has never been found.Source:Supplied

Shanna Golyar murdered Cari Farver and then took over her social media account and email accounts in a bid to cover up the crime. The above post appeared on Ms Farvers Facebook page six months after her death.Source:Supplied

In the absence of a body, prosecutors were forced to rely heavily on circumstantial evidence, much of which was found within the 12,000 emails Golyar purportedly sent to Mr Kroupa posing as Ms Farver and others, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

Thirteen of those emails contained graphic descriptions of a murder that only the killer would know amounting to a confession, they argued.

One email sent in January 2013 included a photo of a bound and gagged woman in a trunk

of a vehicle.

You will dump (Golyar), and you will start seeing me again that (sic) it no arguments about it, it read. If you dont agree she will stay in my trunk and since no one knows my car you wont find her.

But the court heard evidence that Golyar took the photos of herself in the trunk in various

positions to make sure her face was hidden just enough to avoid identification.

The emails also claimed Ms Farver was pregnant with Mr Kroupas baby and that the two were married.

Another asked Mr Kroupa how to find a hit man to kill Golyar and had a photo attached of an unknown bloodied dead woman.

Many emails contained details of Mr Kroupas whereabouts and photos of his apartment or vehicle or Golyars home, children and car. They had subject lines such as Watching, and See, I am really here.

They were sent mostly at night and early morning, from dozens of email accounts with variations of Ms Farvers first, middle and last names or Mr Kroupas surname.

He also received thousands of texts, from more than 25 phone numbers.

In the beginning, Mr Kropa reported most of the messages to police but gave up after becoming overwhelmed by the sheer volume, the court heard.

David Kroupa (left) dated Shanna Golyar (right) for years without realising she had murdered another woman he was seeing at the same time, Cari Farver.Source:Supplied

GRUESOME SNAP OF DECOMPOSING FOOT

The most incriminating evidence linking Golyar to Ms Farvers death included a series of photographs found on a memory card inside a tablet hidden in a storage unit belonging to Golyars ex boyfriend.

One picture shows a close up of a human foot with a tattoo of a Chinese symbol.

Ms Farvers son testified that the tattoo was strikingly similar to the one his mother had on the top of her left foot which was the Chinese character for mother.

At Golyars trial, forensic pathologist Michelle Elieff noted that the foot appeared to be decomposed, citing discolouration of the skin and blood vessels, although she was unable to determine how long it had been decomposing.

She also identified a small white mark on the skin as a scuff mark which can appear when a dead persons skin has been touched.

The court heard that Ms Farver had three tattoos; an Aztec sun on her upper back; a yin-yang symbol and another Chinese symbol on her thigh; and the mother Chinese symbol on her left foot.

Images of similar thigh and foot tattoos were found by police on the tablets memory card. The tablet was found in a storage unit.

Omaha Police Department forensic investigator William Henningsen agreed with Dr Elieff that it was likely the photographs were of Ms Farver.

Shanna Golyar, 41, was sentenced to life for secretly murdering love rival Cari Farver and then using her identity to stalk a man they both dated, David Kroupa.Source:Supplied

Cari Farver wasnt missing, she was murdered by love rival Shanna Golyar, who took over her social media accounts to cover up her crime by making it appear she was still aliveSource:Supplied

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY

As the daily onslaught of threatening, expletive laden messages entered a third year, Mr Kroupa continued an on and off relationship with Golyar while seeing other women casually.

At the same time, he was still desperately searching for Ms Farver, who he believed was behind the vicious stalking campaign.

If I had (found her), this would have been over a long time ago, he told the court.

When Mr Kroupa and Golyar finally called it quits in November 2015, the flood of abuse slowed to a trickle. They stopped completely when Golyar was arrested the following month.

The killers Jekyll and Hyde personality was chillingly highlighted at the trial when Mr Kroupa was cross-examined by her legal team.

Asked whether he ever heard Golyar utter the word whore, which is used thousands of times in the emails, during their relationship, Mr Kroupa said: negative.

Mr Kroupa also said Golyar never once gave him the impression she was a maniacal stalker and never confessed any crimes to him.

Up until very recently, I presumed that it was (Ms Farver) causing all of these problems, he told the court.

Mr Kroupa could recall one encounter with Golyar that struck him as odd: one cold night hed returned home from a night at the pub to find Golyar lurking between his apartment and some parked cars.

I heard some rustling and saw (Golyar) crawling … on the ground, he testified.

He called for her to come over, but she didnt answer. As soon as he walked through his front door, he received a stream of texts from Golyar explaining that she had been at a nearby bar drinking with friends, she was very drunk and didnt know what she was doing.

It was very strange, Mr Kroupa said.

Ms Farvers family welcomed the life sentence but said until Golyar revealed where she put her body, they could never put her to rest.

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Woman jailed for murdering love rival and assuming victim’s identity in four year stalking campaign – NEWS.com.au

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